Field Day – Opposite Land 12” (Unity Worldwide)

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Emerging from the shadows of being “just” an ex-Dag Nasty band, Field Day are developing into a powerhouse in their own right. Well it is just a few months ago that we were treated to the news that two of the core members of Dag Nasty were not just playing again together, but also writing new and original material. Then their debut 7\” dropped, and exceeded all expectations.

Despite being in the unfortunate position of not being able to play live in support of that release, the record sold out of the initial pressing very quickly, sitting in the charts of German distributors Core Tex for over 10 weeks, as well as spreading the message via US distributors Revelation.

The strength of that single is that it reignited a spark and captured the spirit of the original Dag Nasty sound. OK – now is when the real hard work begins! After that initial calling card fulfilled its promise, the pressure is on the line-up comprised of Peter Cortner on vocals, Doug Carrion on bass, Shay Mehrdad on guitars and Kevin Avery on drums to continue to deliver the goods. 

However, within seconds of needle hitting the groove, any doubts or fears are laid to rest as the band launch into One Song. You have all the hallmarks of the sounds these guys pioneered, done with a vibrancy that is relevant today. Galloping drums and a driving bassline providing the backdrop to layered guitars that offer melody and texture. Then you have Peter Courtner’s vocals, both the filling that holds it together, and the icing on the cake that really finishes it off.

There are and have been a million and one bands playing the melodic Hardcore sound, but when it comes to the roots, you have to look back to names such as Dag Nasty, 7 Seconds or Bad Religion. Well these guys were actually there, and so their influences couldn’t possibly be more genuine. When you consider the line-ups of the older generation, musicians were hopping from one band to another and so influences rubbed off and helped define those trailblazing sounds.

The closing track on here, Tell Me Now, features a big tribute to old peers 7 Seconds with the Woah-Oh intro and uplifting guitar melodies. Given that Kevin Seconds almost became a member of Dag Nasty, perhaps this is a sly wink or a playful nod to what could have been some thirty years or so back…

Stolen Words takes me right back to Wig Out days, where melody and melancholy are intertwined, but always with that uplifting moment, beautifully summed up when Peter invites listeners to “grab my hand, we’ll reach out for tomorrow”. Waiting For A Miracle and Speak The Truth are equally powerful songs, with guitars providing drive and power, but often dropping out for dramatic effect.

Music should be moving and passionate, and this second chapter of the Field Day story has that emotion and drive by the bucket load.  Tom Chapman

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